As sad as I am to see Borders go, I can’t say that I’m surprised.
Once upon a time, I was a book-buying fool. Every book that I wanted to read, I bought. It was an expensive habit, but since I’ve never spent a ton on things like shoes and purses, I never felt that bad about it.
But then I had a kid and lost all my money. Seriously, those things are expensive!
So, over the past few years, I’ve sparingly bought books. My threshold is — will this be a book I’ll want to read again someday? Twilight saga? Yes. The latest Emily Giffin novel? Probably not.
Shortly after having E. I started hitting up the library regularly. In case you haven’t been to one since high school, they’re amazing. They just give you books … for free! No seriously. This is not an urban legend.
The Orange County Library System rocks in so many ways. They offer free home delivery of books that you order online — like Netflix, but again, FREE! I can’t tell you how many times I used this service during E’s first year and I was terrified to go anywhere alone because I just knew that she’d scream, poop or vomit everywhere (and often all three). So you’re welcome librarygoers.
The library also has DVDs and CDs, and great storytimes for kids. And I just learned last week that they have a new service called Freegal, which gives you 3 free music downloads a week! (Thanks for the tip Pulse of Central Florida!)
Over the past couple months, I’ve been cheating on the library. My parents got me a Kindle for Christmas. At first, I thought, “Oh, I’ll never use this.” But then a little thing called “The Hunger Games” happened to me. One minute, I’m reading the hard copy of book 1. The next thing I know, it’s 12:30 a.m. on a schoolnight and I’m downloading Book 2 on my Kindle because I’m too impatient to find out what happens after Katniss and Peeta get off the train!
And I’m not going to lie — a Kindle is seductive. It’s so easy and the books are a lot cheaper than hard copies. Besides, it makes a great, lightweight travel companion.
It’s also so convenient. We discovered that through the Kindle app, my husband and I can share books that I download to the Kindle on our other devices (iPhone, computer, etc). But, for the most part, we don’t have a lot of reading overlap. For some reason, I still can’t talk him into reading the latest YA books. His loss.
The library does offer some e-book downloads, but to be honest, I haven’t been able to find any I want to read yet. That part of their site could use some work. It’s a bit unwieldy to browse and search for e-book titles.
Since this was an expensive spring with my Kindle, I re-dedicated myself to the library. First, I had to pay off some pesky fines that accrued when someone (*cough*DadJovi*cough*) misplaced one of the kids’ CDs we’d checked out for E. (Side note: it wasn’t bad enough that she picked some bizarro cover version of Disney songs by Los Lobos. No, I had to pay $20 for a CD we all hated).
Over the past couple weeks, E. has been picking out all the books about snakes, ballerinas and gorillas she can find.
And I’ve been working my way through the fiction section. Now I just need some suggestions! I’ve been browsing Eat Live Run‘s book list (that girl does a lot of reading) for new titles.
Last week I read “Gap Creek” based on her suggestion, and sadly, I don’t share her love for it. But this week, I picked this one up:
So, please tell me, what books have you read lately? I probably should read more non-fiction but I just love novels and have a harder time getting into non-fiction. And how do you pick new books? I need a better system than just picking books based on their cover (I’m such a cliche — but I challenge you to pick out a book at the library while you’re trying to stop your 3-year-old from making BFFs with every homeless man there).
How do you read? E-reader? Store-bought books? Library? Or over strangers’ shoulders?